Grand Junction attorney picked for school board post

Grand Junction business lawyer John Williams starts work today as the newest member of the School District 51 Board of Education. He will be sworn into office at 4 p.m., shortly before the board’s regularly scheduled work session.

Board President Greg Mikolai selected Williams to fill the vacancy for District C that came open June 2 following the death of Harry Butler.

Six candidates, including Williams, interviewed for the position on July 30, but the board could not reach a consensus on who to appoint. When that happens, Colorado law calls for the board president to fill the vacancy, School District 51 said.

Williams will assume his duties immediately.

Board members Jeff Leany and Ann Tisue opposed Williams at the July 30 meeting, voting instead for Pat Kanda and Art Gardner. A motion by Board Vice President Leslie Kiesler to vote on Williams failed for lack of a second.

“I’m not happy with it, but it is what it is,” Leany said Monday. “He’ll do whatever he can to push bonds and tax increases through.”

“He’s just a lot more liberal in his philosophy,” Leany said.

Leany, though. pledged to work with Williams despite their philosophical differences.

A local attorney, Williams has experience in real estate, business, government relations and employment law. He also served as legal counsel for Hendricks Investment Holdings and Gateway Canyons. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the Northwestern School of Law. 

Williams volunteered to serve on boards for a variety of area nonprofit organizations including Hilltop, the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, the John McConnell Math and Science Center and the D51 Foundation.

He is also one of the Chamber 500 Plan volunteers, reading an hour each week with students at Rocky Mountain Elementary School, the district said.

“It is a real honor to be presented with the opportunity to serve the community sitting in Harry Butler’s seat,” Williams said. “I look forward to working with the Board of Education and learning more about School District 51.

“My children attended District 51 schools and had a good experience and I’m excited to help serve the students in the district starting today,” he said.

Williams’ seat will be up for election in November, the district said.


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Clearly this is a good choice. Williams has been walking the walk, and will do a great job.

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